Park View High School in Sterling, VA has canceled its varsity football season after just 18 players came out for the team, according to the Washington Post.
Park View went 0-10 last year
The Patriots went 0-10 last year and was outscored by an averaged of 60.1 to 16, per MaxPreps. Park View played just one game determined by 20 points or fewer — a 57-37 loss to Justice High School. The team has won four games over the past four seasons.
Of the 18 players who came out to play this season, several had no prior playing experience, according to the Post. Attempting to try to coach 18 players to play offense, defense and special teams would have been a near-impossible task from a purely football standpoint and certainly a dangerous one as well.
“Given the competitive nature of Park View’s schedule, we didn’t want the players exposed to a heightened risk of injury,” Loudoun County Public Schools information officer Wayde Byard said.
Byard added that this is the first team to cancel a season in his 18 years with Loudoun County. Park View head coach Josh Wild declined to comment, according to the Post.
Players still wishing to play may transfer to Dominion High School as both a student and an athlete. Virginia High School League transfer rules will be waived. The school’s junior varsity team will play a revised schedule.
Centennial High School of nearby Maryland canceled its season last year
Centennial High School, in nearby Howard County, Maryland, canceled its varsity season for similar reasons in 2017. The Eagles had just 14 players try out, and seniors were unable to play their final eligible season anywhere after it was canceled. Centennial is back this year with 25 players and a new coach.
Two Indiana high schools canceled their seasons earlier this summer, citing low turnout, and last year, Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago canceled the remainder of its campaign mid-season due to injuries.
A Reuters Health study from March found that high school football participation dropped roughly five percent from 2008 to 2017, a drop that correlates with increased research and understanding of head-related injuries that are associated with the game. This comes despite a 15 percent increase in high school athletics participants from 2001 to 2017, according to the report.
There have been multiple young retirements from NFL players this offseason
This summer has also seen several players retire abruptly at a young age. Mike McCray, most recently with the Dolphins, retired at 23 and said he was “playing the game of football for the wrong reasons.” Joshua Perry, retired shortly thereafter at 24 after suffering his sixth documented concussion. “The last thing I want to do is put the health of my brain and my future wellbeing in jeopardy over a game and a paycheck,” the former Ohio State standout said on Twitter.
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